In previous studies, Provenge has been shown to have a delayed positive impact on survival. Based on this, CEO Mitch Gold said the interim results are promising.
Next, Genentech (DNA) and OSI Pharmaceuticals (OSIP) said that a late-stage study found that a combination of cancer drugs Avastin and Tarceva as a second-line treatment in patients with advanced lung cancer failed to increase the overall survival rate.
The "BeTa Lung" study looked at Avastin in combination with Tarceva in comparison to Tarceva alone in patients for whom chemotherapy had not stopped cancer progression. Median survival in the Tarceva and placebo group was 9.2 months. The companies said the median survival in the combination arm was similar but did not give specific data. The full data will be presented at a U.S. conference in November.
Wall Street analysts said that the trial's potential success wasn't factored into any Genentech revenue estimates, giving Monday's outcome little impact. Genentech shares were down $4.40, or 5%, at $83.13. OSI shares lost value on the study data, shedding $7.90, or 17%, at $37.94.Also Monday, Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (SLXP) said at the American College of Gastroenterology that its rifaximin met its goals improving quality of life for patients with irritable bowel syndrome in a midstage clinical trial. Its shares were up $1.09, or 19.2%, at $6.77. And CombinatoRx Inc (CRXX) shares plunged $2.22, or 74%, to 78 cents, after osteoarthritis drug Synavive missed its main goal in a midstage trial, as it didn't significantly improve knee symptoms vs. placebo.